The Vampire Diaries is now but a fond memory in the hearts and minds of its fans, but a small part of the series may be living on in NBC's upcoming supernatural drama Midnight, Texas. Debuting this July, the series -- based on the books by Charlaine Harris, who authored the novels that inspired True Blood -- Midnight, Texas tracks the goings-on in a town filled with vampires, witches and spirits who live alongside humans.

One of those people is Olivia Charity, a hitwoman with a shadowy past who's an integral part of the community. She'll be played by Arielle Kebbel -- the do-gooder Lexi from Vampire Diaries who Kebbel said will still be seen, in a way, in this new show.

"I feel like I learned so much from Lexi," she told reporters at NBC's summer press day in Los Angeles Monday. "I kind of feel like Olivia is a grown-up Lexi in a way. She's kind of my homage to Lexi. She's her own character but definitely there were certain aspects of Lexi that I threw in."

The Vampire Diaries ending could've been even more devastating

Exactly how those elements play out will be evident when the series starts this summer, but one thing is for sure: Olivia is much more of an ass-kicker than Lexi. "We have some Mr. and Mrs. Smith moments in this season," she said, "especially toward the end of the season." Training was so intense that she's caught the action-adventure bug and has her sights on tackling a new role: James Bond.

"I did so much training for this show," she said, adding that it wasn't the actual tasks that made her level up but the mental toughness they required. "It's about pushing through...that critical mind that's telling me I'm tired or I can't do another [take] -- that feels like I'm kicking ass. When I've pushed through that voice and have made it through the other side."

Like all Vampire Diaries fans though, a piece of her will always be tied to the series. How'd she feel about the finale? "I thought it was perfect," she said. "I was so grateful that everyone got closure. I could have not dreamed of a more perfect ending. When I showed up on set and saw the high school and saw Stefan (Paul Wesley) walking out when they were shooting the scene I was like, 'Oh man I'm gonna cry.'"

Midnight, Texas premieres Tuesday, July 25 at 10/9c on NBC.